After the Election
Repair CaféLights Things Up
Sooke Tree Canopy
Your Opinion Matters
Your October Newsletter
As we anxiously and hopefully await the end of the drought, Ayum Creek, usually full of salmon this time of year, was still dry on October 23rd, 2022. But the rains have now begun, and fortunately have so far been gentle enough to allow the dry soil to accept the moisture. And Facebook is awash with photos of bears hunting salmon on Sooke River.
After the Election
Well, Sooke did not overwhelmingly vote for Climate Champions, but then Sooke didn’t vote overwhelmingly at all. With only 26% of eligible voters casting ballots and 23 council candidates running, it’s not surprising that incumbents and one recent Councillor were elected.
But! Climate Champion Anna Russell, a first-time candidate, came within 50 votes of taking a seat, winning 1,018 votes. This is a victory—1018 people out of the 3,358 who voted, or 30.31%, chose climate champion Anna Russell. Add together the 1,082 votes that Susan Belford and Robin Holm received combined, and it is clear that climate issues are important to Sooke residents.
These thousands of people (at least 1,018 and at most 2,100 depending on how many voters chose more than one climate champion candidate) form a base who can actively promote local climate action in Sooke over the next few years, and help the District reach its climate goals.
There are lots of things people can do:
The previous Council left the implementation of the District of Sooke Climate Action Plan and the passage of the Official Community Plan that overarches it up to the next Council . Get informed about these plans and speak up for them at the appropriate Council meetings so Sooke can begin to meet its climate obligations.
Get involved in Council meetings, so you know what’s going on. (after clicking the link, scroll down). You can attend and speak live at municipal hall or observe from the comfort of your couch via Youtube.
Subscribe to receive the District’s monthly e-newsletter or any of DOS' preferred mailing lists.
Apply to participate on District Committees, when they are announced.
Get involved in Transition Sooke's many working groups, or start one and get together, act together for climate.
Sooke was not alone in its very low voter turnout— many communities across the province had similar results. We need to find a way to involve more people in local government— at seminars and discussions on how local government can act on local issues, on District committees and at public meetings.
Repair Café Lights things Up by Paula Johanson
Zero Waste Sooke hosted a Repair Café on October 16 that went really well in our new location at Sooke Library! This appears to have been the LAMP Repair Café, as everybody helped with lamps.
Many thanks to Carol and Dave who greeted arrivals, set up coffee and homemade snacks, and kept contact info for anyone wanting to be part of future activities. Nineteen repairs were made, advice was offered on how to make a zipper work for a while longer, and many conversations took place.
A new arrival to Sooke introduced himself as Rick. All his tools are boxed up in his new garage, so he just came to say hi -- but before long he was helping me with a blinky bike light. Of course he had a Swiss Army pocket knife with tweezers. Suddenly, Rick became one of our fixers! He made several repairs, borrowing tools from Jeremy while chatting knowledgeably about the Right to Repair movement.
We had a welcome visit from Susan McDonald who runs Repair Cafés in North Saanich, and another person visiting from California who had checked the Sooke Library's website and brought her clock from home to take it to our Repair Café. These visitors came because they were planning TWO activities for their trips and had found word of our Repair Café on the Library's website; others came for the first time after seeing the terrific poster made by Library worker April Ripley.
Bernie worked on at least two electric kettles, and some lamps. The final repair he made was to a toaster that had to have its lever held down for it to toast bread. The owner waited her turn, polishing the toaster and then explained to Bernie how the lever just wouldn't stay down on its own.
"Bad toaster!" said Bernie, and he smacked it. "Bad toaster!"
And then the toaster worked properly.
The toaster owner was mystified and delighted.
"If it gives you any more trouble, just bring it around again," said Bernie.
Meanwhile, our final repair was taking place: it was a vacuum cleaner. Before the vacuum reached Jeremy, I'd already quizzed the owner and agreed the problem wasn't any of the things she or I knew how to fix; it was a switch. This took half an hour to successfully fix!
All in all, a wonderful success, with new people planning to come to the Zero Waste Sooke meeting on Thursday Nov 17 at 7pm at the Library.
Above on the left is a photo of our all-star fixer Jeremy, helping with the repair of a lamp. "It doesn't have to swivel any more," said the lamp owner, happy that the lamp now lit up as it should. On the right is a close up of Jeremy as taking the vacuum apart during an epic effort that took over half an hour.
Craft & Art Supplies Swapby Paula Johanson
On Sunday, Sept 18 from 10 am to 2 pm, Zero Waste Sooke and the Sooke Library held a Craft & Art Supplies Swap. We had done one Swap before the pandemic began, and were delighted to see how well this Swap went. The Library's April Ripley made a good image for small posters and for sharing on social media.
Six tables were filled with sorted crafting materials and art supplies, emptied, and filled again, emptied and filled once more. I lost count of attendees at over fifty people. So many bags of yarn, or fabric, or art supplies went to new homes. The library workers were glad to see many people who said this was their first visit to our new library building.
This event was particularly popular with small daycare homes, and those mothers were delighted at how much they could take. Some families came back for a second turn through the room, and one person came back twice! At the end, three friends came to help pack up the leftovers, and another volunteered her vehicle to take leftovers to a sharing store. Thank you all for participating!
At the Library's request, Zero Waste Sooke will be co-sponsoring three two-hour-long Swaps in the new year instead of one four-hour event: a Yarn Swap one month, a Sewing Supplies Swap the next month, and an Art Supplies Swap the month after that.
Sooke 1948 Sooke 2022
Sooke's Vanished Tree Canopy
Today in the District of Sooke (DOS) there are approximately 1,500 acres in the ALR, down from about 1,900 acres in 2000. As shown in the photos above, the green space and agriculture land in Sooke has been mostly replaced by residential housing. The treed canopy has been reduced although the majority was removed even in 1948 for valuable timber and agricultural purposes. We have neglected to nourish our urban canopy.
No matter if you believe climate change is a natural process or a human-made event, it is happening at an alarming rate. The need for adaptation is clear. Saving green space and planting trees to increase the urban canopy is urgently needed. Presently the DOS tree reserve fund is $17,000, yet it has spent 1 million on renovations to the Municipal Office and 1 million on a new fire truck.
We all are aware that the ALR and park land are not the only land in the DOS that should be preserved as green space. Private land with greens space will always be under attack by development. Our climate and environment attract people from around the world to Sooke. This makes our environment our currency for a healthy, prosperous community. Protection of green space, and the regeneration of the tree canopy are urgently needed ways to protect this important asset.
Photos above are from Sooke archives.
Remember.... Transition Sooke Regular Monthly meetings are now on the second Wednesday of the Month
See you November 9th!
MONTHLY TRANSITION SOOKE MEETINGS
All meetings 6:45-8:45 "hybrid "(Zoom at home or Sooke library)
Transition Sooke is always open for people to participate. We specifically welcome people to fill the following roles:
Note-takers for monthly meetings
Watchdoggers to keep us informed about meetings at Sooke Council
Helpers at our Transition Sooke information tables
Volunteers at events
Your Opinion Matters!
Your letters and articles on climate change, development, and community resilience in the Sooke News Mirror keep important issues in the public eye. If you want to join one of Transition Sooke's Action Groups please contact us. And if you have a photo you'd like to send the newsletter, a letter to the editor, or a piece of news, please forward that to us as well. Thank you!